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John Logie Baird developed Britain's first television system, in 1926. "Seeing by wireless", he called it.

Baird's TV first relied on spinning wheels, then movie film, and in 1937 was rejected in favour of EMI-Marconi's all-electronic technology. Baird built TV projectors which were installed at the Marble Arch Pavilion, Tatler Theatre and Dominion, Tottenham Court Road. They were used to screen the Trouping of the Colour, and live boxing from Haringey Arena.

By 1940, Baird was projecting colour. He used a wheel with red, green and blue filters which spun through the light beam. Early colour TV sets in America used a similar wheel. The idea was killed off by the modern colour picture tube.

The spinning wheel idea was revived in the mid-1990s when Texas Instruments developed a microchip covered with tiny mirrors to project a TV picture thtough a spinning colour wheel onto a large screen. DLP became very successful as an alternative to LCD or light valve projectors.

Before majoring on cellphones, Finnish company Nokia built a prototype domestic TV which usedthe Texas chip. It gave very true colours thanks to a Baird filter wheel, hidden inside the TV set. But Nokia was ducked out of making TVs before viewers got to try a wheely set.

















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